The latest weekly jobless claims report shows a sizable jump, rising well over last week’s figures and shattering expert expectations, yet another sign that the job market under President Biden is sputtering.
CNBC reports that claims for the week ending July 17th rose to 419,000, a significant gain from the previous week’s revised numbers and “well above expectations.”
“Initial filings for unemployment insurance totaled 419,000 for the week ended July 17, well above the 350,000 Dow Jones estimate and more than the upwardly revised 368,000 from the previous period,” they write.
CNBC describes the uptick as “unexpected,” a term the media used repeatedly during the Obama-Biden administration to create an air of randomness to the economic troubles being caused by the occupant of the White House.
The two-month high in jobless claims, which Reuters also notes was “unexpected,” pushed Wall Street’s main indexes lower.
Republicans have complained that unemployment benefits have been too attractive, preventing people from getting motivated to enter the workforce.
Speaking at a town hall last night, President Biden countered by telling a concerned restaurant owner that the key to getting people back to work is to simply pay them more.
“My guess is that people paying seven, eight dollars an hour plus tips, that’s — I think, John, you’re going to be finding 15 bucks an hour or more now,” he told the owner who had said, “he already pays staff $15-an-hour.”
“My gut tells me that … there’s a lot of people looking to change their occupation. But I could be wrong,” he said. “I think it really is a matter of people deciding now that they have opportunities to do other things and there’s a shortage of employees.”
Biden is suggesting people aren’t leaving the workforce, but are simply changing careers and following higher wages.
All well and good, except two noted economists pointed out earlier this month that “the workforce participation rate nationally … had stalled.”
Biden proceeded to tell the business owner that he sees little evidence that unemployment benefits have been affecting jobless claims.
“I see no evidence it had any serious impact on it. But you can argue it,” the President explained. “Let’s assume it did. It’s coming to an end.”
Why are they coming to an end though, Joe?
“Complaints by companies that they can’t find enough workers have led 22 states to prematurely end a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit, which comes on top of state jobless aid,” according to the Associated Press.
Also during the town hall, President Biden claimed that massive spending would actually reduce inflation.
He was citing an analysis that suggests his spending proposals will promote economic growth without increasing inflation.
“Moody’s today, a Wall Street firm not some liberal think tank, said if we pass the other two things I’m trying to get done, we will in fact reduce inflation, reduce inflation, reduce inflation,” said Biden.
Aside from weekly jobless claims, gas prices and overall prices, in general, are on the rise under President Biden.
A top Democratic pollster is warning the party that the American people are starting to feel the effects of those rising prices.
“Celinda Lake, who polled for the Biden presidential campaign and still advises Team Biden,” told Axios that “worries about inflation are coming through loud and clear in both public polls and her own focus groups.”
In Scranton, Pennsylvania, some people told CNN that rising prices are the “worst it’s been in a long time.”
There are still more than 12 million people claiming unemployment in America.
In 2019, the number was 5.8 million.
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